India's parliament set to vote on contentious citizenship bill

Thursday, 12 Dec, 2019

Senior Shiv Sena leader, Arvind Sawant had said on Tuesday that the party's support to the Bill is totally unrelated to the politics in Maharashtra.

People in northeast India object for different reasons, fearing that large numbers of Hindu migrants from Bangladesh who they say are intruders will be given citizenship.

Significantly, the pattern of the protests shows that the argument that the Bill is anti-minority has hardly found any takers in the North East.

Tension escalated on Wednesday after protesters set ablaze a vehicle in an arterial section of Guwahati.

The protests forced the Army to send columns to Kanchanpur and Manu areas in North Tripura, and keep one on standby at Bongaigaon in Assam.

Gatherings of more than four people were banned for 24 hours.

'Assam and northeastern states had already taken a huge burden of illegal foreigners, ' he said. "If it is in lakhs then where are they going to be settled in India?" asked the saffron party. We can not allow it to happen. Though protests took place in Muslim-dominated areas well, they were largely peaceful. "West Bengal is another major state opposing the bill", it said.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill would establish a religious test for people who wish to become citizens, and provide a path to citizenship for all of South Asia's major religions - except Islam. This promise was fulfilled on Wednesday with the president signing an order extending ILP to the entire state of Manipur. It is to be noted that the ILP regime is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Protesters burned tyres and blocked main roads and railway lines for a second day on Wednesday. At least 14 trains have either been cancelled, short terminated or diverted anticipating "disruptions in train movement", NFR chief public relations officer Subhanan Chanda said.

It will allow them to acquire Indian citizenship if they live or work in the country for six years and are fleeing religious persecution.

The region, having 98 percent of the boundary with countries like China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, also houses over 200 of the 635 tribal groups in the country. Now the government wants to bring in more people and give them citizenship. The bill is a direct threat to our culture, language, and land. "We have hopes from a strong Prime Minister and Home Minister".

Gupta said that he can't speak about the other parties who have supported the bill.

The bill comes amid the BJP government's push for a nationwide citizenship verification process, a National Register of Citizens (NRC), that would identify irregular immigrants, which government statements indicate are aimed at disenfranchising and stripping Muslims of their citizenship rights. In the long run, the Union government should change the bill to avoid any problem in the North-East. Human rights activists now pin their hopes on the country's Supreme Court, where the bill would likely face a legal challenge.